‘I was happy to give it a whirl’: The Theatre Channel – Episode Three (Online review)

In London theatre, Musicals, Online shows, Opinion, Reviews by Ian FosterLeave a Comment

Exploring the world of rock musicals, Episode 3 of The Theatre Channel features Alex Gaumond, Shan Ako, John Owen-Jones, Francesca Jackson, Aisha Jawando and Rob Houchen.

First, a confession. The idea of a rock musical generally leaves me cold so the announcement of the theme of the third episode of The Theatre Channel being just that wasn’t one that filled me with too much joy. But the quality of Episode 1 and Episode 2, plus the calibre of talent they’ve been attracting, meant that I was happy to at least give it a whirl.

And if it didn’t make a convert out of me (there’s enough fans of Rent out there already…), there’s plenty to be impressed with. The highlight of the half-hour show for me was the chance to hear the Québécois Alex Gaumond singing ‘Le Monde est Stone’ from Starmania in its original French, the desperation of this soaring ballad transcending any linguistic barrier (though subtitles are provided).

Elsewhere, we’re treated to Aisha Jawando singing the sh*t out of ‘Acid Queen’ from The Who’s Tommy and Francesca Jackson taking on ‘Forgiven’ from Alanis Morissette musical Jagged Little Pill (how I would have loved a version of ‘That I Would Be Good’). And John Owen-Jones does what he does so stylishly well on Chess’ ‘Pity the Child’. I just continue to find the blend of rock and musical theatre an uneasy mixture that too often lacks authenticity.

Episodes are available to purchase and download via www.thetheatrecafe.co.uk/channel and once purchased, audiences are able to watch them unlimited times for up to seven days. Episode 4 will premiere on 23 December and inevitably has a festive theme. Stars to look forward to include Sophie-Louise Dann, Cassidy Janson, Rachel John, Zizi Strallen, Manon Taris, Matt Croke and Tosh Wanogho-Maud duetting and a special performance from The Café Four and Graduates from the ArtsEd class of 2020.

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Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."
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Ian Foster on FacebookIan Foster on RssIan Foster on Twitter
Ian Foster
Since 2003, Ian Foster has been writing reviews of plays, sometimes with a critical element, on his blog Ought to Be Clowns, which has been listed as one of the UK's Top Ten Theatre Blogs by Lastminute.com, Vuelio and Superbreak. He averages more than 350+ shows a year. He says: "Call me a reviewer, a critic or a blogger, and you will apparently put someone or other's nose out of joint! So take it or leave it, essentially this is my theatrical diary, recording everything I go to see at the theatre in London and beyond, and venturing a little into the worlds of music and film/TV where theatrical connections can be made."

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